Saturday, November 26, 2005

Multiple God of War sequels in the works?

EGM offered up some interesting tidbits about two God of War sequels in its latest issue, albeit tucked neatly away in its rumors corner. The first sequel is in development for the PS2 and will be released sometime next year. And, as expected, a third sequel should find its way onto the PlayStation 3 sometime after that. David Jaffe, lead designer for the first God of War has not announced his involvement with either sequel—but we think it’s safe to assume that he’ll have a hand in both. We’ll keep you posted.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mortal Kombat 7 title revealed?

Midway registers domain...

This domain was registered on Friday, September 23, 2005.

It's quite possible that the title of the next MK game will be MK Armageddon.

Wait and see...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (PSP)

Square Enix has finally released its carefully crafted gift to fandom, Final Fantasy: Advent Children, to stores across Japan. The film is available both on DVD and in the PSP's UMD format, and we were able to snag copies of the movie off the shelf fairly readily in Tokyo. Final Fantasy VII's long-awaited sequel brings the game's cast back to life vividly with some of the best-looking computer-generated art to date, and it finally gives fans a chance to catch up with old friends. We'll avoid discussing any major plot spoilers here, but even the plot seems almost a secondary point to seeing the original cast in action again. Nostalgia abounds in this film.

We've seen a good chunk of the cast appear in trailers already, and while the movie revolves most strongly around Cloud and Tifa, just about all the major characters from the game make some kind of appearance. The movie features the pale-haired trio of all-new antagonists, led by Kadaj, who are the sinister bunch fermenting discord in what seems to be the last human settlement that remains among the ruins of Midgard. Between their activities and a mysterious disease assailing the populace, it seems the world still hasn't managed to find peace.

The images of the world that you'll glimpse run the gamut from largely barren, open landscapes to the broken skeleton of Midgard itself, though you'll see plenty of specific areas that you'll remember from the game. The old chapel with Aerith's carefully tended patch of flowers is still here, though stewardship of her precious blossoms seems to have fallen to Cloud. Likewise, the haunting lake where Aerith's lifeless body was laid to rest remains a poignant site, surrounded by glistening white trees--and it seems that the area continues to channel potent energies, as well. Even the very opening sequence of the movie is pulled not too subtly from the game, showing Red XIII and his brethren loping across a dusty stretch of land to howl at the overgrown, crumbled remains of what once was one of the mightiest cities on the planet.

These images are often accompanied by some format of the appropriate original music. Much of the game's music, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, features snatches of themes from the original work or remixes. Fans will readily recognize character-specific themes, like Aerith's, as well as the opening music, and even a number of battle themes. The music often comes up in interesting places, short snatches that are slipped in somewhere as a further nod to fans. There are touches like this all throughout the film, like a little girl who dangles around a favorite stuffed moogle most everywhere she goes. If you pick up the UMD version of this game, you'll have access to the entire soundtrack independently from the film.

As beautiful as the movie looks, a lot of it is due not merely to the level of detail and artistry that went into molding the characters, but to the over-the-top action sequences the characters are so often thrown into. These scenes are well choreographed and feature the usual separation from the forces of gravity that make such acrobatics all the more fun to watch, with nearly blindingly fast movement, a lot of epic leaps, and a flurry of weaponry of all sorts. There's at least one limit-break attack thrown in there as well, along with a summoned monster, just in case you forgot for a second that this is a Final Fantasy movie.

Many of you might be wondering at this point how import-friendly this movie is, and the answer is…not very. You'd need a Japanese PSP or DVD player for that region to play the movie at all, and there aren't any English subtitle options to help you follow along with the story, so you'd be left with an awful lot of pretty CG, and that's about it. An English release isn't too far off, though, so Final Fantasy VII fans outside of Japan will soon be able to get that long-delayed sequel fix. Those fans shouldn't feel neglected anymore, either, because Advent Children is the forerunner of a number of Final Fantasy VII products to come, including Dirge of Cerberus for the PlayStation 2 and Crisis Core for mobile phones. From Yuffie to the Turks, from Vincent to Cait Sith, the classic crew is making its return in force. Final Fantasy: Advent Children serves to remind us how vibrant those characters yet remain, even years after the game that gave their world life.

Watch the trailers here.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter new animation

Here is a look of a great new animation, thanks to the Kombat Pavillon, opposing two great icons of the fighting games genre, Ryu and Scorpion. Take a look here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ryu Ga Goto Ku, trailer

Here is the link to watch the first trailer of this very expected Sega game. Click here.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Shenmue 3, Yu Suzuki speaks about the saga

What he says in brief:

-He reminds us that the entire saga is composed of 16 chapters but that only the first 6 have been explored to date(Shenmue 1 and 2).

-He says also that he has no concrete plan for Shenmue 3, does it contradict the article of Kiziko?

A.Doree, the author of the article and the webmaster of Kiziko defends the veracity of his article and thinks that Yu Suzuki's "no concrete plan" answer is due to the fact that he can't talk about the game's status. Doree insists on the fact that his source is solid and sure.

Yu Suzuki's interview doesn't go against Kiziko's affirmations, it only confirms that until we know on which console the game will be produced, no official info will filter.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ryu ga Goto Ku (Shenmue Like)

Sega announced that it is making a new action adventure game, titled Ryu ga Gotoku, for the PlayStation 2. The game was originally in development under the code name of Project J and is now being produced by Toshihiro Nagoshi (Super Monkey Ball, F-Zero GX). The game is slated for release this winter in Japan for 6,800 yen ($62).

n Ryu ga Gotoku, the player assumes the role of Kazuma Kiryu, a legendary yakuza who was once known as the "Dragon of Doujima" for his unmatchable strength. The game takes place in a downtown entertainment district of Kamurochou in Japan, which Kiryu left 10 years ago after slaying his boss to protect his best friend and the woman he loved. His old cohorts didn't forget his betrayal, so they waited for his return to exact their revenge.

Adding to the mess, Kiryu gets involved in a series of unexplainable incidents and encounters a girl named Haruka, who holds the key to a missing fortune. From there, Kiryu pledges to fight for the sake of Haruka's future and to confront the past he's been avoiding.

The player will talk to the city's citizens, fight thugs, and collect information. There will be several side-story quests where the player can help out the people of Kamurochou by taking on jobs or lending a hand to someone in need of help. Completing the quests will reward the player with items, money, experience points, and valuable information. With money, the player can shop in the numerous stores located throughout Kamurochou to purchase items, have a meal to recover energy, and play games in an amusement area.

Of course, the game isn't just about shopping. On the combat side, Kiryu can punch, kick, and grapple, but he can also equip various objects on the ground and use them as weapons. With enough victories in battle, Kiryu can level up, thereby increasing his life meter and allowing him to learn new moves.

Sega says that Ryu no Gotoku is targeted toward more-mature audiences. Ryu no Gotoku's storyline has been supervised by award-winning novelist Hase Seishu, who's best known for Fuyajou and other novels that take place in the underground society. The heavy drama is aided by voice acting from a number of famous celebrities in Japan. Lending their voices to the game are seasoned actor Tetsuya Watari, actress Junko Mihara, DJ Kei Grant, and martial artist Yoshiaki Fujiwara.

Sega says that it aims to make Ryu no Gotoku's depiction of a Japanese entertainment district as realistic as possible. To make the city as lifelike as possible, Ryu no Gotoku will feature the likenesses of real stores and actual product billboards throughout its city. Among the companies signed up to be featured in the game are retailer Don Quiote and whiskey manufacturer Suntory.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Civilization 4 mini test

The Good: Intriguing new gameplay options plus even more-refined core gameplay; great presentation with powerful new 3d engine and great new soundtrack; much easier to fit into your schedule, but also offers many more strategic options; leonard nimoy; warning: the highly addictive gameplay will make you lose sleep.

The Bad: Endgames can sometimes still bog down, even though games are much faster to finish overall; faster pace seems to de-emphasize historical context somewhat; warning: the highly addictive gameplay will make you lose sleep.

You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy Civilization IV, though that would help...and so would previous experience with other Civ games. Beginners will find Civ IV to be a complex strategy game with something of a learning curve, but with worthwhile rewards waiting for them once they start figuring things out. Experts will find Civ IV to be the proverbial better mousetrap: adjusted, tweaked, and sometimes completely changed. But it's still a Civ game, and with Civ IV, the series is even more engaging and addictive than ever. If you have even a passing interest in strategy games, world history, or getting less sleep at night, you owe it to yourself to give Civilization IV a try. And if you're already a fan of the series, then what are you waiting for? You should already be playing this game.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mortal Kombat Mishaps

A hilarious animation, thanks to the Kombat Pavillon once again.
To watch it, click here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks in Spike TV's Video Game Awards

GameSpot is reporting that Spike TV has announced their nominees for the 2005 edition of their Video Game Awards show, and among the nominees is Midway's popular action/adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks! From the article:

Spike TV's Video Game Awards show is returning this year, and it's bringing some actors, rappers, and rockers with it. The 2005 edition of the awards show will take place Friday, November 18 in Los Angeles. The show praises the best in the business, as voted on by industry vets, and is accompanied by celebrities and musicians.


Fight Night Round 2 (Electronic Arts)
Soul Calibur III (Namco Hometek Inc.)
Tekken 5 (Namco Hometek Inc.)
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (Capcom)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (Midway)

Strangely enough, even though Midway bills MK: Shaolin Monks as an action/adventure title, it's listed under the category for "BEST FIGHTING GAME" instead of "BEST ACTION GAME". This may, however, be just a result of MK:SM's versus mode and/or Spike TV assuming it was a standard tournament fighter based on previous MK games. We'll be keeping an eye on this story; when we learn more, we'll report it here!

To read the GameSpot article in its entirety, click here.

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